Luke 4 v 18-19. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release, the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
These words describe a global crisis greater that anything that can be experienced in the financial world. Poor, imprisoned, blind and oppressed people all around us. Poor people are to be found for instance, not only in the shanty towns of our cities, but also in the most glittering capitals of the world, often ensconced in wealth, so that their inner poverty is hidden from view.
These people could also be described as “prisoners”. If Jesus meant he had come to free literal prisoners then why was his relative John the Baptise left to languish in prison and finally be killed there? Instead, Jesus was talking about a far deeper imprisonment than that of human prison bars. He was talking of the captivity of the soul, the imprisonment of the human spirit. This is what He had come to free.
There are of course millions of blind people all over the world today. Even in Jesus’ day, though he did heal many blind people, he did not heal them all. So what did he mean? Well, Jesus has indeed come to take away the blindness of the human heart so that we might understand and comprehend the greatness of God and the greatness of His love to us in Jesus Christ. Blindness of the human soul is the greatest blindness of all.
As far as the oppressed is concerned there are many for whom release from oppression is still only a pipe dream. Jesus meant a deeper oppression than that experienced by millions today, who are under some form of political or religious oppression.
Now let’s be clear that the needs of those who are economically poor and physically or politically oppressed are very real and should always be on the minds and the agendas of Christian people. But many misunderstand what Jesus said here, and make political activities of some sort or the other, the core of Jesus’ message.
When you became a Christian, what did you experience? Your ignorance about God was replaced by understanding and the burden of your soul was lifted
The real global crisis is the lostness and rebellion of the human race with its consequences in human life and society. That is what the passage refers to and that is what Jesus came to address.